If you’re looking for a hotel in the Indian Ocean that caters to babes in arms through to teens, you can stop looking now. You will find something for everyone at The Heritage Awali on the beautiful island of Mauritius. We certainly did.
The resort is spread across a beautiful bay along the island’s south coast, and it is easy to find a quiet corner to relax in with a book and the guarantee that you won’t be disturbed by a soul here. Equally, if you’re the active type, you can be entertained from dawn until way past dusk. And if your kids want to do one thing and you want to do another, it’s not a problem either.
The baby concierge service can ensure that your room is stocked with diapers, bottle warmer, formula and stroller on arrival. For babies up until two years of age, there is a free babysitting service that runs from 8:30a until 4:30p.
The Timomo & Friends Kids club can keep 2- to 11-year-olds busy from 8:30a until 11:30p with age-related activities. My kids, Ella and Lily, preferred hanging out in the pool and by the beach with us most of the time, but they would dip in and out when an activity really appealed.
The highlight for Ella and Lily was fishing for crabs on the beach while we snuck in a massage in the spa, which is a true inner sanctuary of calm. The kids also spent an evening at the kids’ club playing various party games whilst we treated ourselves to a rare date night at the adults-only Château de Bel Ombre. This restaurant is based in a 19th-century colonial mansion in lovely grounds high up in the Heritage estate, and it gave us a chance to sample some delicious local specialities.
The Heritage Awali succeeds where many large resort hotels fail: creating a teen activity programme that actually appeals to the 12+ age group. There’s the chance to try out a whole host of sports on land and water, from golf, tennis, volleyball and horse riding, to diving, sailing and dancing around a beach campfire. They can also hang out in the Cool Teens zone at the C Beach Club, where there is music, a range of multimedia on offer and a pool table.
You can stay at the Heritage Awali for two weeks or more and never tire of the place. The resort adjoins sister hotel Heritage Le Telfair, which is more formal but just as delightful; you can eat in their restaurants and enjoy their facilities too. Alongside this hotel is the C Beach Club, which offers more bars and restaurants, another pool to lie by and a more secluded section of beach.
Behind the hotel there is also a fantastic golf course and the Frederica Nature Reserve to explore by foot, jeep or mountain bike. We took the jeep safari through the sugar plantation, learning all about sugar’s life cycle, and then on to a hair-raising cross-country journey up the mountainside. Unfortunately the monkeys eluded us.
The accommodation choice is also varied at the Heritage Awali, ranging from spacious doubles that can sleep up to four, to large suites and a beachside villa with its own private pool. There’s also a selection of self-contained luxury villas dotted along the hillside overlooking the Heritage Resort, where you can enjoy all the services and facilities of the resort in a little more privacy —great for large family gatherings.
Wherever you stay, it’s advisable to take the all-inclusive option so that you can enjoy dining in most of the restaurants and bars at no extra cost, although some require a supplement. Make the most of the water sports on offer. Water-skiing, snorkeling, diving, pedal boating, paddle boarding, sailing — you name it, you can pretty much do it here.
Best family hotel and things to do in Mauritius
Editor’s Note: Anna received a media package at The Heritage Awali. As always, our opinions on Ciao Bambino are our own. Photos by Anna Tobin unless otherwise noted.
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